Abstract

Digitally enhanced services for wind power could reduce operations and maintenance costs as well as the levelized cost of energy. Therefore, there is a continuous need for advanced monitoring techniques, which can exploit the opportunities of internet of things and big data analytics, revolutionizing the future of the energy sector. The heart of wind turbines is a rather complex epicyclic gearbox. Among others, extremely critical gearbox components, which are often responsible for machinery stops, are the rolling element bearings. The vibration signatures of bearings are rather weak compared to other components, such as gears, and as a result, an extended number of signal processing techniques and tools have been proposed during the last decades, focusing toward accurate, early, and on time bearing fault detection with limited false alarms and missed detections. Envelope analysis is one of the most important methodologies, where an envelope of the vibration signal is estimated usually after filtering around a frequency band excited by impacts due to the bearing faults. Different tools, such as Kurtogram, have been proposed in order to accurately select the optimum filter parameters (center frequency and bandwidth). Cyclic spectral correlation (CSC) and cyclic spectral coherence (CSCoh), based on cyclostationary analysis, have been proved as very powerful tools for condition monitoring. The monitoring techniques seem to have reached a mature level in case a machinery operates under steady speed and load. On the other hand, in case the operating conditions change, it is still unclear whether the change of the monitoring indicators is due to the change of the health of the machinery or due to the change of the operating parameters. Recently, the authors have proposed a new tool called improved envelope spectrum via feature optimization-gram (IESFOgram), which is based on CSCoh and can automatically select the filtering band. Furthermore, the CSCoh is integrated along the selected frequency band leading to an improved envelope spectrum (IES). In this paper, the performance of the tool is evaluated and further extended on cases operating under different speeds and different loads. The effectiveness of the methodology is tested and validated on the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) wind turbine gearbox vibration condition monitoring benchmarking dataset, which includes various faults with different levels of diagnostic complexity as well as various speed and load operating conditions.

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